A world first Catholic and Jewish faith schools’ joint campus opened in August 2017 in Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire. Local authority East Renfrewshire Council delivered the £17million joint campus to provide the required increased provision of Catholic education in the area. The facility also serves as a relocation for the current Calderwood Lodge from its old base in Newlands.

The Brief

The unique and innovative new facility was designed and specifically built with the sole aim of welcoming pupils of both Catholic and Jewish faiths under one roof namely St Clare’s Primary and Calderwood Lodge, and a non-denominational nursery class. The children now get to share the same flexible meeting spaces which include the external landscaped areas. The new facilities formed part of a wider multi-million pound investment in the council’s school estate to improve services for its youngest residents and communities.

Materials Used

Kellen Lavaro was chosen as the affordable option and a proven selection for many wider educational projects in Scotland also. The materials specified covering an area of 2,500m2 were:

  • Zwart Grijs 112 – 150mm x 300mm x 80mm
  • Grijs 530 – 150mm x 300mm x 80mm
  • Grijs 530 – 300mm x 600mm x 80mm
  • Wit – 110mm x 165mm x 80mm

This choice provided a large range of unique plan sizes and colours which helped to create the aesthetic and to determine and secure a fixed specification on the project.

The project also featured elements of creative Artscape including a yellow, blue and red Crystalpave-embedded concrete wall – Hardscape created entirely bespoke moulds for the Crystalpave units to be manufactured to fit into the very colourful concrete walls!

The Outcome

Creating a design that matches the significance of the status of the buildings whilst on a budget was a testament to the care and attention taken in the material choice. The faith schools’ joint campus demonstrates impressive features beyond the external paved landscaped areas such as a shared central amphitheatre and outdoor obstacle trails.

Two sports pitches, first-class ICT facilities, art, science, music and drama areas are also included in this innovative facility.

Paul O’Kane, East Renfrewshire Council’s convener for Education and Equalities, said at the time he was delighted to see the new facilities open. He commented: “While both St Clare’s and Calderwood Lodge will undoubtedly benefit from the fantastic individual learning environments, it is the shared areas which most excite me. By sharing ideas and knowledge all our pupils at this new joint campus will enjoy an enriched learning environment. The new Barrhead High is wonderful and gives the pupils a school to be proud of.”

Client Team:

Landscape Architects: BDP, Glasgow. Contractors: Heron Bros Ltd.